It's an iconic warning that rings out into festively lit living rooms each and every year, frustrating everyone who's ever been denied a childhood wish due to parental safety concerns. And the "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" dance number in Christmas Story Live sets it to music. The fabled Christmas Story line uttered in the 1983 classic broke viewers' hearts almost as much as it broke Ralphie's. And, on Sunday on FOX, viewers got to relive the legendary scene in an entirely new way.
Jane Krakowski — whom fans of 30 Rock will remember has some serious musical talent — dazzled as Ralphie's teacher, Miss Shields, who pulled out all the stops to let Ralphie know that a B.B. gun is not in his best interest. Krakowski, who is also a three-time Tony Award nominee and Tony Award winner, let loose with a tap number of epic proportions.
In a fantasy sequence, Krakowski was flanked by young jazz dancers from Ralphie's classroom as she scolded the story's hero for wanting such a gift, and she did it all while wearing a stunning white glitter flapper girl outfit. It was silly, it was over-the-top, and it was perfect. It was also the best high energy pick-me-up for the program to showcase more than halfway through its run.
Let's be honest — if there was any star of both the silver screen and stage who could have held the weight of this number on her shoulders with a cool ease while the entire country watched it unfold live on television, it was Jane Krakowski. Despite the impressive resume that made her perfect for the job, though, the actor told The New York Times that the role still involved a bit of a learning curve. "I had a very large adjustment period, because it was like nothing I expected," she said in an interview with the Times earlier this month.
She didn't seem to have any reservations about undertaking this highly anticipated number, though. "I have an entire musical number based on that classic line — a big tap number," she said ahead of the production. "I haven't taken tap since I was a teenager, so I've been hitting the rehearsal room hard. And it's been a blast. I'm now convinced it's therapeutic. I think it's helped my brain."
Throughout the show, she fully went for the role of Miss Shields, making her a welcome sight onscreen. Krakowski said in the same New York Times interview that she was drawn to the character. "Miss Shields has been developed in a wonderfully humorous way," she said. "One of my favorite parts from the movie was how involved she was with Ralphie's fantasy life, and that is something that television can expand on more than the Broadway stage. They've made Miss Shields cater more to the actress that they've hired, which is always lovely."
Twitter was quick to praise Krakowski's performance, solidifying her place as a TV favorite.
It just added on to the scores of musical numbers A Christmas Story Live presented to audiences, and from the looks of Twitter, it was one of the most well-received ones. Though A Christmas Story was never originally a musical, it was adapted for the stage decades after the film's release, nabbing three Tony nominations in 2013, according to the official tour's site. Music for the Broadway show was composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the masterminds behind the score of another Broadway hit, Dear Evan Hansen, and some of the award-winning music of La La Land, according to Variety. If there happened to be anyone out there who inexplicably doubted Krakowski's talent, those skeptics have been put to rest tonight.